Iowa. Where to stay & City advice for travellers.

Table of Content

  • City Info
  • Where to Stay
  • Estimated Daily Cost
  • Public Transportations
  • Safety Tips for Travelers
  • F.A.Q’s

Exploring the Charming Corners of Iowa

Iowa, also known as the Hawkeye State, is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of the Midwest. Offering picturesque landscapes, welcoming locals, and a rich cultural heritage, Iowa is a delightful destination for any traveler seeking a unique experience. From vibrant cities to tranquil countryside, here are the top four locations in Iowa that are sure to captivate your senses.

1. Des Moines – The Thriving Capital City

Best Neighborhood: Downtown Des Moines

In the heart of Des Moines, Downtown is the ideal neighborhood for travelers seeking a vibrant urban experience. This bustling area is brimming with trendy restaurants, lively bars, eclectic boutiques, and fascinating art galleries. Immerse yourself in the city’s rich culture by visiting the Des Moines Art Center or exploring the captivating exhibits at the Science Center of Iowa.

Estimated Daily Cost: The average daily cost for a traveler in Des Moines is around $100. This includes accommodation, meals at local restaurants, public transportation, and entertainment.

Public Transportation: Des Moines offers a reliable public transportation system, with buses operating throughout the city. The DART (Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority) buses provide convenient connectivity to various attractions within the city.

Rent a Car: Renting a car is also a convenient option for exploring Des Moines and its surrounding areas. Several car rental agencies are available at the Des Moines International Airport for easy access to transportation.

Safety Tips: While Des Moines is generally safe, it is always advisable to take basic precautions such as avoiding dimly lit areas at night and keeping personal belongings secure. It is also a good practice to familiarize yourself with local emergency contact numbers.

2. Iowa City – A Literary Haven

Best Neighborhood: Downtown Iowa City

Iowa City, a UNESCO City of Literature, is an enchanting destination for book lovers and history enthusiasts. Downtown Iowa City offers a blend of historic charm and contemporary vibrancy. Stroll along the picturesque Pedestrian Mall, lined with quaint bookstores, cozy cafes, and lively bars. Engage in the city’s lively cultural scene by attending a performance at the Englert Theatre or exploring the exhibits at the University of Iowa Museum of Art.

Estimated Daily Cost: A daily budget of around $80 is sufficient to cover accommodation, meals, transportation, and sightseeing in Iowa City.

Public Transportation: Iowa City has an efficient public transportation system consisting of bus routes operated by the Iowa City Transit. The buses connect various neighborhoods and key attractions within the city.

Rent a Car: Renting a car is not essential in Iowa City, as most attractions are easily accessible on foot or by public transportation. However, if you plan to explore the surrounding countryside, renting a car is a convenient option.

Safety Tips: Iowa City is generally a safe destination, but it’s always wise to take precautions. Avoid walking alone late at night, keep valuables secure, and be mindful of traffic when exploring the city.

3. Cedar Rapids – Rich Culture & Outdoor Delights

Best Neighborhood: Czech Village/New Bohemia

Cedar Rapids, the second-largest city in Iowa, offers a harmonious blend of culture, history, and natural beauty. The neighborhood of Czech Village/New Bohemia is a must-visit, with its charming streets adorned with colorful buildings, unique shops, and delicious local eateries. Explore the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library to learn about the city’s cultural heritage, or enjoy a leisurely walk along the Cedar River.

Estimated Daily Cost: With an average daily budget of $90, you can enjoy comfortable accommodation, tasty meals, transportation, and explore the attractions in Cedar Rapids.

Public Transportation: Cedar Rapids has a reliable public transportation system operated by the Cedar Rapids Transit. Buses are available to transport you conveniently to various points of interest throughout the city.

Rent a Car: Renting a car in Cedar Rapids is a convenient option if you plan to explore the surrounding areas, go on nature excursions, or visit nearby attractions at your own pace.

Safety Tips: While Cedar Rapids is generally safe, it is always advisable to take precautions such as being aware of your surroundings, locking your vehicle, and keeping valuables secure.

4. Ames – College Town Charm

Best Neighborhood: Campustown

Ames, home to Iowa State University, radiates a youthful charm that is sure to captivate visitors. The Campustown neighborhood is brimming with trendy cafes, student hangouts, and vibrant street art. Explore the beautifully designed Reiman Gardens, visit the interactive exhibits at the Science Center of Iowa – Ames, or catch an exciting sporting event at Jack Trice Stadium.

Estimated Daily Cost: A daily budget of approximately $70 is enough to cover accommodation, meals, local transportation, and entertainment in Ames.

Public Transportation: Ames has a convenient public transportation system operated by CyRide, serving the Ames area and Iowa State University. Buses provide easy access to various attractions and neighborhoods within the city.

Rent a Car: Renting a car can be a convenient option for travelers who wish to explore Ames and its surrounding areas at their own pace. Several car rental agencies are available in Ames for easy access to transportation.

Safety Tips: Ames is generally a safe city, but it’s always recommended to stay cautious. Keep valuables secure, be aware of your surroundings, and take basic precautions to ensure your safety while exploring the city.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the best time to visit Iowa?

The best time to visit Iowa is during the spring (April-May) and fall (September-October) when the weather is pleasant, and outdoor activities are in full swing. The state also boasts vibrant fall foliage, which adds to its charm.

2. What are some popular attractions in rural Iowa?

Rural Iowa offers a plethora of attractions, such as the Amana Colonies, known for their rich German heritage, historical sites like the Bridges of Madison County, and the iconic Field of Dreams movie site. Nature enthusiasts can explore state parks such as Backbone State Park and Maquoketa Caves State Park.

Embark on an unforgettable journey through Iowa, where warm hospitality, diverse experiences, and endless beauty await!